"But today the sun shone during our journey out of Toulouse and we had a
delightful meal in a modest, family-run hotel in the center of Cahors. This was
the second culinary success we have had thanks to the French backpacker's
Guide du routard, which led us the day before to Le Colombier where I nearly
fell into a food coma after my incredible, but super rich cassoulet. It's the regional
specialty, replete with white beans, duck, goose, lamb, and sausage. And the
dessert! Pears in chocolate sauce with white chocolate swirls with crème anglaise.
Heather had a flambéed apple tart."
..."The juxtaposition between a really great country to visit and live (should I
move here, my apartment will be larger than my one in New York, I'll have a
car...a wimpy winter...and the beach) and a country under siege is a startling
one. Martin Fletcher recently showed me an invitation he received from Judaica
Multimedia, for the Inauguration Ceremony of the Encyclopaedia Judaica CD-ROM
edition, at the President of Israel's residence. The fine print, written in
elegant blue script, reads, "This is a personal invitation...Parking in the
Jerusalem Theater parking lot. Please do not bring weapons." I'll have to
remind Martin to leave his Uzi with the submachine gun check girl..."
..."Despite my huge misgivings, I forced myself to prepare as much as possible. I
am equipped with Swiss Army knives (yes, plural), first aid packs, an
overabundance of boxer shorts, a torch light, granola bars, Gore-Tex boots and
shoes, a sleeping bag and my short-wave radio. I am a bit of a Boy Scout, at
least when it comes to accumulating survivalist paraphernalia (extra underwear
aside), and now it was finally time to face the music. Because, as I am now
well aware, It Only Gets Worse..."
..."As my "Cadogan Guide to India" says about travelling alone (p.50): "On your
own, there is no room for doubt, indecision, or complacency...you feel
compelled to attune to the country, its people and its customs, at top
speed...The perfect place for a modern-day walkabout, India rewards the solo
traveler with a rich variety of intense experiences -- some good, some bad,
none dull -- and brings him to a deeper understanding of the country. The
reason so much happens on your own is simple, you HAVE to MAKE it happen...'"